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When to use the verb "Ser" and when to use "Estar"

 

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  #31  
Old January 24, 2010, 07:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Most grammar books do not consider accentuation as part of the infectional change, so yes, estar would be in that group. It depends on how you want to define 'regular' and 'irregular'.
No one has asked me what I want. I suppose that I want all "regular" verbs to conjugate exactly the same without any exceptions whatsoever, in an expected way so that I don't have to consult a chart, but can just hear "blahblahblahar" and be able to conjugate it "blahblahblaho, blahblahblahas, blahblahblaha, blahblahblahamos, blahblahblaháis, blahblahblahan", etc....
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  #32  
Old January 24, 2010, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laepelba View Post
No one has asked me what I want. I suppose that I want all "regular" verbs to conjugate exactly the same without any exceptions whatsoever, in an expected way so that I don't have to consult a chart, but can just hear "blahblahblahar" and be able to conjugate it "blahblahblaho, blahblahblahas, blahblahblaha, blahblahblahamos, blahblahblaháis, blahblahblahan", etc....
Here we come to the difference between mathematical exactness and the kind of exactness expected of a spoken language and the associated fuzzy thinking. It's tough out there.
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  #33  
Old January 24, 2010, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perikles View Post
Here we come to the difference between mathematical exactness and the kind of exactness expected of a spoken language and the associated fuzzy thinking. It's tough out there.
Sometimes I wish I had a different brain...................
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  #34  
Old January 24, 2010, 08:32 AM
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That's why I've been telling you are doing this the other way around. I have never told you not to learn Spanish grammar.
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  #35  
Old March 19, 2010, 12:32 PM
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High school rappers explaining ser y estar!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY10_...eature=related
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  #36  
Old March 20, 2010, 01:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Here4good View Post
High school rappers explaining ser y estar!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lY10_...eature=related
Very good
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  #37  
Old March 27, 2010, 12:14 AM
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There's some really helpful information here. "Ser" and "Estar" can be quite confusing. I was always taught in school that "ser" was more used for permanent like conditions, (Yo soy fuerte.), while "estar" was more for temporary conditions (Estoy cansado.).
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  #38  
Old April 17, 2010, 11:16 PM
Martinbeco Martinbeco is offline
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Ser is used for permanent traits, estar for temporary things. Locations should always use estar.
Classic Ex: El está borracho (hoy temporalmente)
El es borracho (He is a drunk, I don't expect that to change, therefore permanent)
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  #39  
Old April 18, 2010, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Martinbeco View Post
Ser is used for permanent traits, estar for temporary things. Locations should always use estar.
Classic Ex: El está borracho (hoy temporalmente)
El es borracho (He is a drunk, I don't expect that to change, therefore permanent)
Or
el es un borracho
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  #40  
Old March 20, 2011, 10:26 AM
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I am continuing to make errors in my ser/estar choices, so I have taken some time to do some reading online about the subject.

First, let me share some points that I found to be very helpful:
  • One author says that he thinks of ser as a more passive verb and estar as a more active verb (NOT in a grammatical sense). Ser tells you what something is by the nature of its being. Estar refers to what something does. "Soy" = what I am, "estoy" = what I am being.
  • The same author compares the use of ser as roughly equivalent to "equals" in a way that links nouns/pronouns to the subject of the verb.
  • Another author points out that ser + participle is typically understood as the passive voice (and a compound verb), while the combination of estar + participle is not a compound verb, but the participle is understood to be an adjective referring to a previous action.
  • Another author over-simplifies things by saying that a good rule of thumb is as follows: "The verb estar is used for health and location while ser is used for everything else."
  • And yet another author specifically talks about estar being used to describe an ongoing action using the present progressive tense. He makes a specific note that "death is an ongoing action - in Spanish, death is seen as an ongoing action, not a permanent state, thus you use the verb estar and not ser." (MOST helpful to me, even though I see that "muerto" is not progressive tense, it helps a lot to think of death this way!)

Now I still have just a couple of quick questions:
  • One of the authors says that you can use "either SER or ESTAR ... with locatives, with a consistent difference in meaning." He then goes on to give examples, which include the following: "(al taxista) Pare, pare, mi casa es aquí. (= mi casa es ésta)". I don't at all understand this. I don't see how this is any different than needing to use "estar" for location.
  • The next question has to do with the choice of imperfect vs. preterite than with ser vs. estar. An author of one of the articles writes the following:
Quote:
Consider a question like ¿Quién fue Simón Bolívar? -- Imagine a child standing in front of a parent and asking the question. The answer Fue un general pretty much closes the subject. It's time for dinner and there is no time for elaboration - book closed. On the other hand, Era un general suggests strongly that the parent is about to take the time, open up the book, so to speak and begin to tell the child more.
I sort of get this, but not entirely. Would someone kindly comment on this a bit further? Thanks!
  • When talking about the use of ser vs. estar + adjective or participle changing the meaning of the sentence, I don't see "sentado" on any of the lists. Doesn't "ser + sentado" mean "sensible" and estar + sentado" mean "to be seated"?

Thanks SO much!!
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